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Jets finally confirm they fired Dave DeGuglielmo

Dave DeGuglielmo AP

The Jets announced a handful of coaching changes Tuesday, confirming something they denied not all that long ago.

The most prominent of the moves was the firing of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, and replacing him with tight ends coach Mike Devlin.

That’s the same thing Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported a week and a half ago, and the Jets denied the same day.

The Jets also announced the hiring of tight ends coach Steve Hagen (formerly of the Browns), assistant Special Teams Coach Louie Aguiar (formerly of the Jets as a punter in the Bruce Coslet years), along with assistant offensive line coach Ron Heller, assistant strength and conditioning coach Pierre Ngo and assistant defensive line/linebackers coach Jeff Weeks.

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Matt Schaub not with Raiders on Sunday

Matt Schaub AP

If the Raiders need to turn to a quarterback other than Derek Carr on Sunday, it won’t be Matt Schaub.

The team announced that Schaub will not be in New England for the game with the Patriots. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that Schaub returned home to be with his wife after she had an emergency caesarean section to deliver the couple’s baby.

The birth was premature, but both mother and child are said to be doing well. Everyone at PFT hopes things remain that way and offer our congratulations to the Schaub family on their new arrival.

Matt McGloin will back up Carr on Sunday. The Raiders travel to London for a Week Four date with the Dolphins and it’s unclear at the moment whether Schaub will be joining them for that trip.

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Whether he plays or not, shoulder injury will limit DeSean

DeSean AP

When Washington receiver DeSean Jackson landed hard on his shoulder last Sunday and then walked to the locker room with his arm drooped and dangling, it appeared likely he’d miss his Week Three return to Philadelphia.

Officially dubbed day-to-day, it appeared that Washington coach Jay Gruden was trying to put a banana in Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s tailpipe.

But Jackson practiced Friday on a limited basis, and he’s officially questionable for today’s game.  If (and it could be a big if) he plays, what can we expect from him?

“A moderate AC joint sprain (separated shoulder) is a frustrating injury for a WR,” former NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan, a contributor to Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, told PFT via email.  “Strength and range of motion of the shoulder are typically not a major factor.  For the next three weeks, his biggest challenge will be reaching across his body and landing on the outside of his sore left shoulder.”

If Jackson plays today, don’t be surprised if Jackson wears something bigger than the Halloween costume version he usually employs.

The bigger surprise could be Jackson playing at all.

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Bruce Irvin fined $8,268 for late shove of Philip Rivers

Bruce Irvin AP

Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin drew a $8,268 fine for a late hit of Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers in Week Two, the NFL has confirmed to PFT.

Irvin was penalized for shoving Rivers after the Chargers’ quarterback had run out of bounds short of the first down marker on a third down play in the third quarter. As Rivers took his second step off the field, Irvin gave him a two-handed shove. Rivers fell to the ground, and the result was a personal foul on Irvin and a first down for San Diego, which would capitalize with a touchdown in its 30-21 upset of Seattle.

The 26-year-old Irvin has a combined four tackles in two games for Seattle, which hosts Denver in a Super Bowl XLVIII rematch on Sunday.

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Ravens’ strategy should be simple, clear

Cass Getty Images

The Ravens believe the lengthy ESPN report that dropped less than two hours after Roger Goodell’s press conference contains plenty of mistakes.  Some minor ones have been pointed out privately; at least one (a suggestion that center A.Q. Shipley watched the Week One game with Ray Rice even though Shipley was playing center for the Colts) apparently has been quietly scrubbed from the story.

But the story has two primary contentions:  (1) director of security Darren Sanders had the contents of the second elevator video described to him by an Atlantic City police officer only hours after Rice Rice knocked out Janay Palmer; and (2) team president Dick Cass (pictured) had been told by Rice’s lawyer that the video was “f–king horrible,” that Rice “knocked her the f–k out,” and that Cass urged Rice to enter a pre-trial intervention program, in part to keep the video from ever becoming public.

While the Ravens have deferred listing the alleged inaccuracies in the report until after Sunday’s game at Cleveland, it should be easy to address the key contentions in the story, if the Ravens contend that those contentions are in dispute.  Sanders needs to say that the allegations relating to him aren’t true.  And Cass needs to say that the allegations relating to him aren’t true.

That’s precisely what Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis did in April 2012.  After ESPN’s Outside the Lines claimed that Loomis had tapped into the in-game conversations of opposing coaches, Loomis went on the record and flatly denied it.

Nothing ever came of any of it, and by all appearances the Outside the Lines report landed outside the lines, literally.  While it’s open to debate and discussion regarding whether the apparently erroneous report about the Saints undermines the new report about the Ravens, the point for now is that, when Loomis faced allegations that he deemed to be untrue, he said so.  Loudly.

The longer the Ravens wait to do that, the harder it will be to get anyone to believe it.

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NFL uniform cops fine Suggs for pre-game gladiator helmet

suggs AP

Terrell Suggs thought it would be fun to fire up the fans in Baltimore by wearing a gladiator helmet in pre-game warmups. The No Fun League thought there was nothing fun about it.

The NFL has confirmed that it fined Suggs $5,512 for a uniform violation.

I thought we needed a boost. We couldn’t afford to start slow,” Suggs said of his choice in headwear.

The league is strict about what players can wear, even before the game starts, and so Suggs is lighter in the wallet as a result. But this fine seems silly. It’s not like Suggs wore a gladiator helmet during the game.

If he did that, he’d get fined a lot more than $5,512.

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Report: Arian Foster thought to be “longshot” to play Sunday

Arian Foster AP

Texans running back Arian Foster’s status for Sunday is reportedly in doubt because of a hamstring injury.

According to multiple sources, Foster is anticipated to be a “longshot” to suit up for today’s 1 p.m. game at the Giants, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported this morning.

Foster is listed as questionable on the injury report. He was limited all week with the hamstring ailment. Foster has racked up 241 yards on 55 carries for 2-0 Houston.

If Foster can’t play, Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Ronnie Brown would be the options in the Texans’ backfield. Blue has received the most work behind Foster this season, rushing 12 times for 40 yards. Grimes has received four carries, with Brown getting three rushes.

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Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson fined for scuffle with Packers

Muhammad Wilkerson AP

Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson was ejected from last week’s loss to the Packers for throwing punches at Packers guard Josh Sitton, a development that caught the attention of the league office.

PFT has confirmed with the league that Wilkerson was fined $20,000 for his actions during the scrap, which came after the Packers took a 24-21 lead in the second half of the game. The Jets would tie the score on their next drive, but wide receiver Jordy Nelson scored an 80-yard touchdown on the next Green Bay offensive play to give the home side a lead that they would not relinquish.

Wilkerson’s fellow defensive end Sheldon Richardson was also involved in the scuffle and drew a penalty for unnecessary roughness in the process. The penalty was declined in favor of the flag on Wilkerson, but Richardson also drew a fine from the league of $8,268 for his actions.

Both players will be in the lineup as the Jets try for a better result against another NFC North foe against the Bears on Monday night.

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Upshaw fined $16,537 for illegal hit on Roethlisberger

Ben AP

The opening drive of the Week Two Thursday night game was extended after Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw planted his helmet into the stomach of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

For the infraction, Upshaw was flagged.  He also has been fined.

The NFL has confirmed that Upshaw will lose $16,537 as a result of the illegal use of his helmet on a defenseless player.  The hit left Roethlisberger claiming he’s the most sore he’d been in a year, although it didn’t land Roethlisberger on the Week Three injury report.

Meanwhile, some Ravens fans will ask why Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for planting his face mask into the groin of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco four days earlier.  Per a league source, no fine was levied because the NFL believed Burfict simply struck Flacco with a face mask while making a form tackle.

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Welker ready to go, without limitations

Welker AP

When Broncos receiver Wes Welker last played, in the third game of the preseason, he suffered his third concussion in 11 games.

After a surprise suspension under the PED policy that became, thanks to the new, retroactive PED policy, a violation of the new substance-abuse policy that didn’t trigger a suspension, the league has reinstated Welker after two missed games.

The time off allowed him to recover from the concussion, and he’s fully cleared for Sunday’s game at Seattle.  Per a league source, Welker has no limits or restrictions as he returns to action.

But the looming question is whether he’ll suffer another concussion today, or at any time in the near future.  At some point, Welker’s chain of concussions could make doctors far more reluctant to clear him to play.

The issue takes on extra importance with the Broncos facing a team that beat Denver in February, thanks in large part of a level of physicality that the Broncos weren’t been able to match.

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Jamaal Charles a game-time decision

Charles Getty Images

The official diagnosis on Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles suggested that he’d miss time.  And he still may.  But there’s a good chance he won’t.

Despite having a high ankle sprain (and a bone bruise, per a source with knowledge of the situation), Charles remains a game-time decision for Sunday’s contest at Miami.

With only seven carries for 19 yards in Week One and a mere two carries for four yards before suffering the injury, Charles’ 2014 seasons has started off in disappointing fashion.  He could get a chance to improve on the initial 1/8th of the season, if he can play — and if Charles is healthy enough to be effective.

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Sunday morning one-liners

Donte Whitner, Karlos Dansby, Alfred Morris AP

Special teams play is one big reason the Bills are 2-0.

DE Cameron Wake leads the Dolphins with both words and actions.

The Patriots are looking for more from their wide receivers.

S Dawan Landry’s experience is needed in the Jets secondary.

The Ravens hope things go better on the road than they did last season.

Does the Bengals backfield need its own nickname?

Browns LB Karlos Dansby is “sick to his stomach” about the team’s struggle to stop the run.

Previewing what the Steelers defense will have to deal with on Sunday night.

A few key questions for the Texans to answer on Sunday.

Colts TE Jack Doyle grew up to play for his hometown team.

The Jaguars defensive line wants to make up for last week.

DL Mike Martin is healthy and hoping to make an impact for the Titans.

The Broncos are looking forward to their matchup with the Seahawks.

Chiefs WR Albert Wilson’s trip to the NFL included the helping hands of his foster parents.

The Raiders promoted LB Bojay Filimoeatu from their practice squad.

Replacing RB Ryan Mathews will be a group effort for the Chargers.

Will the Cowboys ride the running game to victory again this week?

Steve Serby of the New York Post thinks the secret to the Giants turning things around is the team somehow being more like Derek Jeter.

Screen plays have been a positive for the Eagles.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins wears his wedding ring on the field.

Bears C Brian de la Puente is preparing himself for the Jets defense.

Lions CB Darius Slay will be on the spot against the Packers.

Would Julius Peppers be more effective for the Packers if he played less?

Trying to figure out a way the Vikings can win in New Orleans on Sunday.

The Falcons celebrated their alumni before Thursday night’s big win.

The Panthers aren’t stressing about DE Greg Hardy’s absence.

Former Saints WR Rich Mauti will see his son, Vikings LB Michael Mauti, square off with his old team this weekend.

The Buccaneers hope better health will lead to better results.

Said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians of injuries, “It’s something that we’ve been through and it’s what you hold each other accountable to, not lip service and looking for excuses. There are no excuses.”

The story of Rams QB Austin Davis’s career keeps getting better.

Perseverance has been an essential trait for 49ers LB Dan Skuta.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson wants to emulate great athletes from other sports.

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Former Titans kicker Rob Bironas killed in car crash

rob_bironas Getty Images

Rob Bironas, who spent nine years as the kicker for the Tennessee Titans, has died in a car crash. He was 36.

Nashville police confirmed that Bironas was in a single-car crash at around 11 p.m. on Saturday. According to the Tennessean, Bironas lost control of his SUV and hit several trees. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

Police say Bironas was driving toward his home and there was no evidence of alcohol on the scene.

Bironas grew up in Louisville and played college football first at Auburn and then transferred to Georgia Southern. After playing a few years of Arena Football and trying out for NFL teams, he signed with the Titans in 2005. His best season came in 2007, when he was a Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro. The Titans released Bironas this offseason, but he was still hoping to get back into the NFL, and just had a tryout with the Lions last week.

Bironas is survived by his wife, Rachel Bradshaw, the daughter of Pro Football Hall of Famer and FOX broadcaster Terry Bradshaw.

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Kelly effect: Over-Unders of 50 points or more commonplace for Eagles games

Chip Kelly AP

In addition to point spreads, oddsmakers post totals, or Over-Unders, on every pro football game. The total is a projection of the combined total points expected to be tallied by both clubs in a given contest, and bettors can either wager on the game finishing OVER or UNDER the total.

The logic behind the total is fairly straightforward; if two clubs with excellent quarterbacks are to meet in a climate-controlled setting, a total set in the 50s — a high final score — is a given. However, if two struggling offenses meet in the cold, the total might not hit 40.

We mention totals as we consider Sunday’s Washington-Philadelphia contest. At multiple Nevada sportsbooks, the prevailing Over-Under for this NFC East matchup is 50.5 points.

If the Philadelphia-Washington game closes at 50 points or higher, it will mark the 14th time in coach Chip Kelly’s 20-game tenure that an Eagles regular season or postseason matchup has had a total in the 50s, according to the Spreadapedia point spread database. That’s a 70 percent clip.

By contrast, only 10 games in Andy Reid’s 262 regular season and postseason contests in Philadelphia and Kansas City have had a total of 50 points or more — a 3.8 percent rate.

To be fair, totals have begun to inch up in recent seasons. There were 100 games with a total of 50 points or more in 2013, compared to 74 in 2012, 56 in 2011 and just 12 in 2010, per Spreadapedia. With some powerful offenses around the league and the pace of play picking up, it’s easy to see why high Over-Unders have become more commonplace.

Which brings us back to Kelly and all of those totals of 50-plus points. The OVER has cashed in 8-of-13 such games, a 61.5 percent clip. That’s a success rate that beats the house edge.

Which explains why you’re not going to see many low totals in Eagles games as long as the Kelly offense keeps humming.

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Jameis Winston suits up pregame, sent to change, still sidelined

Jameis Winston AP

Though suspended for Saturday’s game vs. Clemson, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston appeared in uniform in pregame warmups, per multiple reports.

However, after a talk with coach Jimbo Fisher, Winston went back inside and returned to the field without shoulder pads, according to a video clip of the incident posted by ESPN.

Winston’s collegiate career has been marked by stellar play and doses of off-field controversy. A redshirt sophomore, Winston can declare for the 2015 NFL Draft if he so chooses. He is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner as college football’s most outstanding player.

Sophomore Sean McGuire has started in place of Winston for No. 1 Florida State, which has won 18 consecutive games entering Saturday night. Winston is wearing his uniform top and a baseball cap and is present on the sidelines.

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Lions sign CB Mohammed Seisay from practice squad

Minnesota v Nebraska Getty Images

The Lions’ roster shuffling with an eye on adding secondary help continues.

Detroit has promoted rookie cornerback Mohammed Seisay from the practice squad, the team’s website said Saturday. A Nebraska product, Seisay (6-2, 206) gives the Lions four healthy cornerbacks entering Sunday’s game with the Packers, and the rookie could very well be active in his NFL debut. Veteran reserve corner Cassius Vaughn, who played 31 defensive snaps and 13 special teams snaps in Week Two, is out with an ankle injury, and at the least, Seisay could see some reps in the kicking game.

Two of the Lions’ four cornerbacks (Seisay, Danny Gorrer) were not on the 53-player roster to begin the season. The club lost cornerbacks Bill Bentley and Nevin Lawson to season-ending injuries in the first two weeks. Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis are the Lions’ top two corners.

The Lions opened a roster spot for Seisay by releasing veteran wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. Detroit now has five receivers on the roster.

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